Instant Messages

"Instant Messages", New Era, July 2005, 46–48

 

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Soaring above Trials

 

By Kimberly Webb

Church Magazines

 

When I feel weary or scared, I think of my great-great-great-grandmother Margaret Ann Griffiths Clegg.

 

At age 16, she stayed one last time with her favorite relatives. She planned to meet her family at the train station the next morning, ride to Liverpool, England, and board a ship for America.

 

But she overslept.

 

“I did not know what to do,” she said. “My father, brothers, and sister were on that train and leaving me behind. Oh, it was terrible!”

 

She arrived in Liverpool late that night, wandered the streets, and asked strangers to help her find her family. At last, around 1:00 a.m., she peered through the window of a house and saw familiar faces. “I tell you, I was happy,” she said. “It made my father sick, for he thought he would never see me again.”

 

After five weeks at sea and a train ride to Iowa, she and her family set out across the plains. Members of the Martin Handcart Company “would sit around the campfire and sing and were as happy as larks,” Margaret said, “till the snow caught us.”

 

Then there was little singing. Instead, Margaret watched as friends, overcome by cold, hunger, or illness, slumped over dead. “All we had to eat was four ounces of flour a day,” she said. Soon “the snow was so deep we could not go any further.” Both her brothers died before reaching Salt Lake, and her father died the day after he reached Salt Lake.

 

Although Margaret lost family and friends, she didn’t lose hope. She married and lived happily. Later she received an interesting birthday gift from her family: an airplane ride. They wanted to say that she had traveled by every mode of transportation, including train, boat, handcart, wagon, automobile, and airplane.

 

It strikes me that while lost on the Liverpool streets or trapped in the snow, Margaret could never have guessed what her future held—that one day she would fly.

 

Grandma Margaret’s example reminds me to have faith. With the Lord’s help, I too can soar above trials and receive the blessings He has in store for me.